Tag Archives: awesome


15 Aug

Please skip this paragraph if you already know what #PitchWars is. Make yourself comfortable if you don’t. Here’s a cup of virtual tea and a fluffy pillow to lean against. Pitch Wars is a competition that allows you to pick up to five mentors to send your query letter and first chapter to. If you’re lucky you will get chosen as their mentee. This means that they’ll read your entire manuscript and make it all shiny and awesome-r. They will help you get published and who knows? You might gain a friend.

There is something special about scrolling down the list of mentors, reading about them one by one and writing down the names of the ones that make you go: “AAAH. YES.” Never mind if your pet dragons look at you weird for bouncing up and down in your seat as you high five your characters in your head. It feels kind of special that these people WANT YOU to CHOOSE THEM. I mean, when you’re querying agents you do the same, but it feels different. It feels more like standing close to the edge of a cliff. This, however, is a competition where you’re aware of just how many other people are in the same boat as you. It brings you closer to these people and makes you feel less like it’s you against the world.

Also, there is less pressure somehow, because you know IF you get chosen you will get help. You will get better. There needs to be enough potential and a click, sure, but somehow the demands made of you feel less…demanding. It’s just difficult to understand the world of publishing when you’re not yet in it. Who knows how many mistakes you’re making without being aware of it? It is such a gift, therefore, to meet someone who will take your under their wing and open your eyes to a new world where you might achieve something great.

Bring out your manuscripts and most of all, your courage and join the PITCH WARS. You know you want to…



12 Jul

The wonderful world of mind-mapping is a fun one to enter. Mind-mapping is a handy aid when you’re a visual person. Like you already probably know, my Writing Spirit is allergic to plotting. Well, most of the time She objects. Objection sustained. But there is something that can help you brainstorm and get the creative juices flowing.


It’s fun to do and I used to do it on paper, use markers to mark the major plot points and to see what I need to fill in between. Plus, with markers it looks more cheerful. The Writing Spirit likes bright colours.
But then a good tip was flung into my brain and I downloaded XMind which is free (yay!) and awesome (yay!). It’s a mind-mapping programme, but you can add notes or other scribbles, use highlights, choose themes so you can switch up the look and you have different lay-outs. You have a cause-and-effect chart (or template as the fancy word is), a time line template, projects dashboard so you can make a chart for your writing projects and for instance plan its progress. And that’s just to name a few things. I can’t tell you how happy I am with this programme, it may have been invented by Skittle-eating Angels.

Here are some examples:

xmind 1 xmind 2 xmind 3


Mind-mapping works well before writing officially commences, but it can also be used when revising, to put things in order and see if it works in terms of cause-and-effect. A tip: You can start with the inciting incident and then at the end write what will happen, so for instance in the pic above: start with murder one, then write the Sets up killer part and find out what needs to happen in between. Think of an event that comes after the first murder, then an event that has to come before the set up of the killer and work towards the middle. That helped me the one time that I plotted…but feel free to find out what works for you and play around.

So here, my pet dragons found the link for you: http://www.xmind.net/




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